Final Project Update

With the semester coming to a close, it is time, sadly, to write my last blog. All semester I’ve been working long and hard, looking up information to share about the women who attended M.A.C. in the early 1900s. With some help from the wonderful archivists in the MSU archives, I have came up with enough information to write a fairly lengthy paper, and with the comments Dr. Goldstein has given me, I will be able to finish it up within the next week. Visiting the MSU archives this semester was probably one of the more exciting and intriguing parts of my semester (you know you’re a history geek when…). Seriously though, not only was everyone so willing to help out there, it was also such a change of pace to research something I was actually interested in, rather than for a mandatory topic for a mandatory gen-ed class. But that’s undergrad I suppose. Anyway, because I won’t be presenting my work until the spring, I will continue to work with Dr. Goldstein, perfecting my paper, and putting together the final poster I will use to present my research during the next semester.

Venus Statue in Morrill Hall, via MSU Archives

As I’ve discussed in some of my other blogs, my research on the early women of M.A.C. also morphed into research on Morrill Hall, once known as the Women’s Building, and casually called the coup by the men of the college. This is because that building was used for everything the women needed at the college, so it makes sense the research on the two topics go hand in hand. I spent much of my time at the archives looking at scrapbooks, which was really cool, because instead of looking at a published paper or official document as a source, I was looking at something that these women put much time into crafting. The scrapbooks showed what they thought was most important to keep from their college years, and to be honest, it’s not much different than what many college girls now a days would find important. There is an incredible amount of Sororian club pamphlets and invitations pasted to the pages, there are many pictures of themselves with their friends (mostly in or near the Women’s Building), and other random assortments of documentations of activities that were important to them. Of course I also had to look at published works too, to get more information, but the scrapbook research was definitely a highlight of my work during this internship. I also got to look at copies of pictures taken of the inside of the building during the early 1900s. One of my favorite pictures is of the interior of the front entrance, with a statue of Venus. In one of the archive folders, I read a handwritten note requesting some art in the Women’s building. One of the requests was for a statue of Venus, to portray, “ levity, perfect physical development and mental power.” It was really cool to read this and then see the picture of the actual statue.

I also worked with Blair down in the CAP lab, working to make a typology for future CAP members and interns. We unfortunately didn’t have enough time to finish it this semester, but we will continue work next semester. We’ve almost completed the project, so it won’t take too long into the spring semester to finish.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time working as an intern for Campus Archaeology. It only made me more confident in my decision to become an anthropology major. I will admit, sometimes I struggle with the choices I could be making in regards to my future, but I know when it comes down to it, I want to spend the rest of my life doing things I love, and my passion for archaeology and research is enough to know that this is the right direction for my life. I thank CAP for helping me to reach this conclusion. I also want to thank Dr. Goldstein and Katy for helping me when I had questions during this internship, and for teaching me the basics, just in general. I really am so lucky to have had this opportunity and I very much look forward to working with CAP in the future.

Author: Bethany

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